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Diary, June 2004

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Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Interview with Wei Wei Hu

Tonight, the Dutch news for children will show an interview with Wei Wei Hu, the girl that was kidnapped a week ago. It looks like she acted very brave, realizing that she should not panic, she kept on talking to her kidnapper, even convincing him to throw away the knife.

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Giel Beelen

Last Monday, Giel Beelen, a notorious DJ, stripped naked when announcing the Sugababes on the Pinkpop festival. This was shown on Dutch television. This same week I saw a commercial of him where he appeared naked as well.

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Venus transit

Yesterday evening, I discovered that I could watch the sun using my MC 3M-5CA, 500 mm telescopic lens and some piece of paper to get a reasonable viewable image of the sun. This morning, around 7:25 local time, Annabel and I went outside to have a look at the sun. We indeed saw a very little black dot, just at the border of the sun. The Venus transition had started. When we looked fifteen minutes later, it had become even clearer. I took the lens to my office, and when I arrived there my colleagues and I could see a clear black dot on the sun.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Lost against Martijn

Yesterday, I played against Martijn with an eight stone handicap, and I lost. I did write down the whole game, but I do not know whether it is such a good idea, because it is rather distracting. I did miss some good opportunities to beat him. There was one move that I did not examine in enough depth to make it, as it would surely have killed a large group. And I lost another move due to a stupid move. Annabel played three games, and then walked around all the time, not showing much interest in the game. She went over to a boy who caught a big fish from the pond in front of the building. She even took a picture of him holding the fish with his camera. At the end she complained that it was taking so long for me to finish my game. I wonder if I should bring her the next time. She doesn't have the ability to concentrate for a long time. I am getting the impression that child prodigies are special, not because they have such an exceptional intelligence, but because they have an exceptional ability to concentrate on a certain subject for a very long time.

Saturday, June 12, 2004


Today, with all my colleagues we went to in Elahuizen, a small village in Friesland, to go sailing on the Fluessen lake. While driving their, I introduced one of my colleagues to Go. We arrived around ten o'clock at the water sport center "De Fluessen" and had some coffee and tea with some Frisian cake. Outside the Eelkje II was waiting for us. This steel boat was built a hunderd years ago as a chargo vessel. Now it is only used for racing and for groups like ours to cruse the lake. It races in the IFKS A class and got second place two years ago. It is 21 meters long (after it was extended by two meters some years ago). The main boom weights 750 kilo. (In 2002, a 80 cm replica was made of this boat for the miniature city Madurodam.) It is a flat-bottomed boat, which means that it relatively easy capsizes, This happens about once every year. It already happened once this year, just two weeks ago during a race. Luckily the lake is not very deep.

Before we left Rindert, the captain, gave us some instructions. During a race it needs a crew of twelve people. Because the wind was rather strong (4 to 6 Beaufour), all of us needed to work to keep the ship running. We all received a cap and a body warmer with the logo of our company. We were also required to wear a life vest. Two of my colleagues and I, decided to help Joep, the captains helper, with the jib (foresail). To prevent us from capsizing during a gust of wind we should be ready to pay out the clew to ease the jib at any moment. This meant we could not tie the clew but had to hold it (around a bitt) all the time. Two persons were needed to hold the clew of the main sail. Two were needed for controlling the two lee boards, one on every side of the ship. And then some people were needed to help hoist the sails with the winches.

We left around eleven. After we had changed tack several times, Rindert came to instruct us about the correct procedure. The clew of the jib was attached to a sliding bar with two pulleys, and everytime Joep had some problem to get the lower pulley to behind the notch on the bar. The correct way to do is, was first to change the clew to the bitt on the other side, then when the ship started to turn to pay out the clew, and then when it wanted to move to the other side, the helper simply kicked the bar and made the lower pulley slide along the bar to the other side. After which we had to pull it tight again. It took us some practicing to get the hang of it, but we never got to do it flawless.

Around one o'clock we arrived at Gaastmeer, another small village, where we had a simple lunch consisting of soup, bread, and a croquette as a hot snack. Then around half past two we left again, and stayed on the lake until about half past five. When we came close to the harbor first the main sail was lowered. The lowering of the jib came a little late, with the result that we went into the harbor with a little too much speed. (Because it was a racing boat it only had an outboard motor, not powerfull enough to reduce the speed.) I was with about five other colleagues standing on the front of the boat and some of them already became a little frivolous with the harbor in sight and having made it so far without getting wet. Joep was busy with getting all the buffers in place, when suddenly Rindert, the captain, started to shout and we realized that we were moving to fast and had to stop the boat quickly. Luckily we were able to throw a robe around a pole and managed to stop the boat with three of us just within a few meters from another boat, the Anna van Oranje.

In the evening we were served what the Dutch call a Captains dinner. Around eight o'clock we went home. When we stopped along the road at a gas station, we saw a strange rainbow high in the sky hanging in cloud, it seemed.


Wrong video tape

This afternoon, Andy walked to Li-Xia when they were in the library, with a video tape in his hand saying that something was wrong. And indeed, when Li-Xia looked at it, it turned out that the tape did not match the box. Again an example of how good his memory is, and of his obsession with video tapes.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Cause of Kabuki Syndrome uncertain

It seems that so far, nobody has been able to reproduce the findings of Dr. Milunsky with respect to Cause of Kabuki Syndrome. Today, I read some message that Dr. David Geneviève reported that they did not find the duplication of chromosome 8 in the p22-23.1 region in the thirty children that they investigated.

It looks like this could mean a number of things:

I think the last option is most unlikely of them all. Anyway it seems that the development of a blood test for Kabuki Syndrome is still far away and that we still have to live some time with the fact that only a clinical diagnoses can be made, with all it uncertainties.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Cars on top of the television

Yesterday afternoon, Andy became angry at Annabel after she dropped the cars he had put on top of the television. When Li-Xia decided to help him to put the cars back on the television after she had sent Annabel away, she discovered that it was not easy to put them exactly as he did. This is quite remarkable because Andy's motor skills are behind. He is rather fond of stacking toys, and can get become rather angry when something is he fails to do it as he wants. Sometimes, he just want to stack his toys in a way that is totally impossible, and then start to become rather annoyed asking us to help him. Usually there is a whole row of toys and video tapes on the table in the living room. And if we move them in the evening, he starts to complain when he comes down in the morning.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Cause of Kabuki Syndrome (Cont'd)

This morning, I read on the Kabuki Syndrome mailing list, that so far 30 children have been found by Dr. Milunksi and his team that have the duplication in the 8p22-23.1 region. Of course, I raised the question how many children have been tested and with how many they did not find the duplication.


Friday, June 18, 2004


Yesterday, I watched the program (from the No Going Back serie) about Phil and Jayne Gaskin, a English couple who, with their three children moved to a small island along the Nicaragua Atlantic Coast, which they renamed into Janique. In 2001, Mark Halliday visited them. They encountered some problems with respect to the ownership of the island. The program ends when Phil died from an asthma attack. The Guardian has a story that goes a little further. My general impression is that Jayne Gaskin is a rather selfish and stupid person. I wonder what will come out of her children. For sometime there was even a web site about Janique, but that is gone as well.

Milunsky Syndrome (Cont'd)

Today, I received more news with respect to the cause of the Kabuki Syndrome. There is going to be a short article in American Journal of Medical Genetics with the title On the reported 8p22-p23.1 duplication in Kabuki make-up syndrome (KMS) and its absence in patients with typical KMS. One of the co-authors is Dr. Norio Niikawa, who is one of two persons who independently described it in 1981, and thus should be regarded as one of the expert on the syndrome. The article deals about the duplication reported by Milunksi and Huang. It reports about unsuccesful attempts to find the duplication in 28 Japanese cases with Kabuki in 28 cases. Although they do offer an alternative explanation for this, they also strongly suggest that the cases that Milunsky and Huang are not Kabuki Syndrome in the following quote from the article: "From our examination of the facial photographs of cases 1 and 2 in the report by Milunsky and Huang [2003], they may not have typical KMS and could be 8p23.1-p22 duplication syndrome." One could thus conclude that Milunsky and Huang have found a new genetic syndrome that, although it has some simalarities with Kabuki Syndrome, still should be regarded as an independent syndrome. According to the tradition that syndromes are named after those that discover them, it is likely that this it will become known as Milunsky Syndrome.

Of course, this news is rather disturbing for a number of parents, that always had though that their child had Kabuki Syndrome, and now are confronted with the fact that it might be changed into Milunsky Syndrome.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Stimulus-value-role theory

Yesterday evening, I read an article that made mention of the stimulus-value-role theory of Bernard I. Murstein. According to this a relationship devops in 3 stages: (This description was taken from an introduction to psychology.) This, of course, also happens in all kinds of other relationships that we have with the people we encounter throughout our life, and maybe it even applies to how organisations and companies establish relationships.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Florian Speth

Yesterday evening, Annabel and I went to the final exam performance of Florian Speth as a student of Conservatorium Enschede. It was a little different from what I had expected, and also a little louder, but it was interesting never the less. There were thirteen others playing together with him, in different combinations, during the eight songs being performed. He is a member of Clueless who's lead singer, Tim van Doorn, was one of the thirteen that helped.

Seven of Nine

Jack Ryan is the former husband of Jeri Lynn Ryan, the actress who played "seven of nine" in Voyager. According to this article on CNN he pressured her for public sex.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Going to the Go club

Yesterday evening, Annabel and I went to the Go club. It was rather quiet, but not everyone had cancelled because of the soccer match between the Netherlands and Letland. I played a game against Jan-Willem, who is a 2 Kyu player. We decided that I would start with nine stones on the board, and I lost with 56 stones, which is actually not too bad when taking into the consideration of the 16 point difference in strength. But just like two weeks ago, I could have won if I had made a move that I did consider for a moment. It would have killed a group of Jan-Willem and saved a large group of myself becoming dead. Actually, I noted that this group was dead when it was too late already to save it. I did make some attempts, but they all did not result in the desired effect. Jan-Willem felt that I did not make any big mistakes, and made all the necessary moves. The lesson that I have learned is that every move that tempts to kill more than one stone of the opponent, and which he can attack again, is interesting enough to investigate. I have always found it hard to think a number of moves ahead.

Then we watched the ongoing game between Rudi and Martijn while also keeping an eye on the television where there was a report of the two soccer games that were relevant for the Netherlands going to the next round. (In the end the Germans lost their game, and the Dutch won, and so the Dutch soccer team will go to the next round, and the Germans will have to go home.) Martin Medema also walked by and had a quick look at the ongoing game. He mentioned that he always lost when playing Memory against children. I told him that the is not to try to remember any have the cards that have been turned. I have noticed that if you do this, you often simply know immediately where the first card of a pair is when the second one is turned. I guess that this is also how children are doing it. It seems that if you try to remember where some of the cards are that you only can recall the locations of those that you have remembered and not any of the others.

When we drove home there was an usual amount of cars in the streets, possibly of people going home after having watched the soccer match with friends or going somewhere to celebrate the victory.

(follow-up on Martin)

Refinement of the Kabuki syndrome critical region

It looks like Dr. Milunsky gave a presentation on March 6, 2004 from 11:15-11:30 during the 2004 Annual clinical genetics meeting of the American College of Medical Genetics which was held from March 2-7. 2004 with the title "Refinement of the Kabuki syndrome critical region". The abstract (no longer available on-line) is: Could this be the reason that others have not find the duplication yet? And maybe also explain why the cases that have the larger duplication (as reported earlier) look less like traditional Kabuki Syndrome. So maybe this means there is Milunsky Syndrome after all?


Friday, June 25, 2004

The Family Divided

Yesterday evening, I watched the first episode of Dr. Phil Family: "A Family Divided. I was really amazed about how smart the thirteen-year-old Katherine was. Although she held some strong opinions, she seemed to be the smartest of them all, and while being kind of "excluded" by the others, still loving them and seeking what is best from them. It was clear that Dr. Phil was rather supportive of her when he gave her a hug during the show, and afterwards told her that he would give her his private telephone number. In a few years Annabel will be as old as her, and I hope she smart as well. It really fills me with some worries when I realize how quickly girls can grow-up.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Andy goes to group 3

This afternoon, I discussed Andy's school report with some of the teachers of group 1. They are rather satisfied with his progress, and told me that next year he will go to group 3. Because the school has four pairs of groups on the same level, it means that he only goes up one level. Tomorrow he will be informed about this and also bring his school report home. The school report will also contain the list of pictograms that he knows, the text and music of songs he learned, and a number of things he made throughout the year. Next Tuesday all children will go to their new group to meet the new teachers.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Official oldest living person celebrate birthday

Today, Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper celebrates her 114th birthday. She is still in good health and with a clear mind. Although she the official oldest living person, there are always some who claim to be older: Hanna Barysevich of Belarus born on May 5, 1888 and Hamida Musulmani born on 1877 according to a the census held in 1932. Anyway, I wish all this women good health and many more years to live!

Jorien Schulten

During the lunch break I went to "Hal D" to see some of the Final Examination work of some AKI student. Most of it I did not very interesting, except for a "thing" made by Sabrine Basten, which I did not see at first, because it is all made out of very thin wires, and clothes made by Jorien Schulten, which I found very intersting. It looks like her clothes are made to give you a certain feeling when you put them on. Somehow it made me remembering wearing the body warmer while sailing some weeks ago. I also got a map of the AKI mupi-route.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

More art

Today, I went to see the rest of the exhibition. I did see some interesting things, such as a funny video by Floor van Slochteren: a kind of philosophical dialog between a serious and a not so serious person. Ayuk Kupems has an interesting cutting technique. Maika Ammann has some interesting long exposure pictures where he plays with light. Kim Kalu is organizing an art auction.

This months interesting links

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